Maintainers have removed the four, eight-bladed NP-2000 propellers that had been fitted to a C-130 of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing since 2007 as part of an evaluation at Edwards AFB, Calif. Wing airmen briefly returned the C-130 to the unit’s home in Cheyenne for the propellers’ removal. USAF testers have used this Hercules since 2005 to assess the performance of a modernized electronic propeller control system and the NP-2000s. Wing airmen found the C-130 to be more powerful, efficient, quieter, and easier to maintain with the NP-2000s. The aircraft will return to Edwards for the evaluation’s final stage to gather performance data on the C-130’s baseline propellers to compare with NP-2000 data. That testing should be completed by June. The wing’s C-130 is retaining the EPCS. (Cheyenne report by 1st Lt. Christian Venhuizen)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.